For people with diabetes, ensuring the right balance of foods is particularly important. This includes a careful choice of the amount and type of carbohydrates which directly affect blood glucose levels and need to be balanced with activity levels and insulin dose. For example, a larger serving (150 g cooked weight) of boiled rice provides 210-250 calories and a small serving (100g cooked weight) provides approximately 140- 60 calories. By contrast a typical takeaway portion of fried rice is 300g providing around 560 calories, so it’s important to pay attention to both the quantity and type of rice consumed.

As a general rule (International Diabetes Foundation Guidebook 2014), consumers with diabetes are recommended to choose wholegrain (brown) rice which on average has a lower GI.

There are two main types of starch present in rice – amylose and amylopectin. Rice varieties with a high amylopectin content, such as Thai glutinous rice are associated with a higher GI whereas basmati rice, particularly wholegrain Basmati rice, tends to have a lower GI score because it contains more amylose which is digested more slowly.